Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, September 5, 1963

The Beatles - Gaumont Cinema, Taunton

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, September 4, 1963

The firts of a four-night run promoted by John Smith. Brian Epstein granted him this mini-tour because of the earlier cancellation of several "Mersey Beat Showcase" dates. The Beatles' fee was £250 per night.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, September 3, 1963

Studio Two, Aeolian Hall, London

Recordings for the final three editions of the 15-part BBC Light Programme radio series "Pop Go The Beatles", taped in one long session. The first of the three was produced, as usual, by Terry Henebery, but the final two were handled by Ian Grant.

Including rehearsal time, Program 13 was recorded between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, the Beatles performing "Too Much Monkey Business", "Till THere Was You", "Love Me Do", "She Loves You", "I'll Get You", and "The Hippy Hippy Shake". During later editing, "A Taste Of Honey" (taped while making Program 14) was additionally inserted after "I'll Get You", making a total of seven Beatles performances in this show rather than the usual six. It was broadcast between 5:00 and 5:29 pm on Tuesday, September 10th, with separately taped guest act Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.

After a half-hour break, the 14th edition was recorded between 5:00 and 7:30 pm, the Beatles performing "Chains", "You Really Got A Hold On Me", "Misery", "A Taste Of Honey", "Lucille", "From Me To You", and "Boys". This show was broadcast between 5:00 and 5:29 pm on Tuesday, September 17th, with guests the Marauders.

After another 30-minute breather, the Beatles launched into the 3rd part of the session, for Program 15. Songs recorded were "She Loves You", "Ask Me Why", "There's a Devil in her Heart", "I saw her standing there", "Sure to fall (In love with you)" and "Twist and Shout". This final program in the series was broadcast between 5:00 and 5:29 pm on Tuesday, September 24th, with guests Tony Rivers and the Castaways, the nucleus of what would later become the Beatles Apple Publishing group Grapefruit, who contributed such old country numbers as John Loudermilk's "Abilene", a contemporary US hit for George Hamilton IV.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, September 2, 1963

The Beatles took a break today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, September 1, 1963

A Sunday TV taping for ABC Television, but not this time for "Thank your lucky stars" - this appearance was on the variety show "Big Night Out", hosted by Mike and Bernie Winters. (It was the first of four Beatles TV engagements with the comedian brothers)

Fellow guests in this edition included Billy Dainty, Patsy Ann Noble and Lionel Blair. Following daytime rehearsals, the show was taped during the evening on the main stage at ABC's Manchester Studio, before an audience of 600, the Beatles miming to three songs "From me to you", "She loves you", and "Twist and Shout". It was transmitted across most of the ITV network, 7:40 to 8:30 pm. on Saturday, September 7th.

Note: The Beatles had originally been requested to tape their "Big Night Out" debut on Sunday, August 18th, for Saturday, August 24th transmission, but their diary could not accommodate this.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, August 31, 1963

The Mercy Sound was well received as a sharply-observed documentary by critics and public alike, and at least 2 requests for copy prints were received, and complied with one being presented to the Lord Mayor of Liverpool for preservation in the city archive, the other going to what has siince become known as the National Film Archive, in London. Extracts have also been fed into numerous subsequent programs and documentaries around the world. And sound-only excerpts from the Beatles' speech element were also broadcast on radio - in the home service program "Pick of the week" on Friday, October 11, 1963.

One further extract transmission from "The Mersey Sound" as made in January 1964, a very important one, for it served as the Beatles' television debut in the USA, outside of news coverage.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, August 30, 1963

The Beatles filmed outside Ringo's house, 10 Admiral Grove, Liverpool S. Ringo was filmed coming out through the front door, battling his way through a horde of kids (most of whom loooked around seven-years-old and seemed to have been put there by the television crew) and getting into George's open-top sports car, which then sped away with kids hanging onto the back. (Paul and John were at this shoot too, but did not participate in the sequence used). Ringo then shot a solo scene, in which - to realize his oft-stated long-term aspiration to become a ladies' hairdresser - was filmed walking along a line of women sitting under hair dryers in the salon situated within Horne Bros. clothing store in Lord Street, Liverpool City Centre.

During production, the documentary went under the working title "The Beatles", but this was altered before transmission to "The Mersey Sound", a more accurate reflection of its content, which also featured footage of an interview with many other groups and participants in the local beat scene. The first broadcast of Don Haworth's film was on Wednesday, October 9, 1963, between 10:10 and 10:40 pm, although it was screened only in London and the north on this occasion. A national transmission then took place on Wednesday, November 13, 1963 between 7:10 and 7:40 pm. Executives of the commercial station ATV were upset at the scheduling of the October 9th broadcast, being only four days before the Beatles would star in that comany's live variety show "Val Parnell's Saturday Night At the London Palladium", and they made their anger clear to Brian Epstein.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, August 29, 1963

The Beatles filmed walking on the top deck of a ferry boat travelling between Liverpool Pier Head and Wallasey, signing autographs and looking over the bow. Then they shot footage at Speke Airport, South Liverpool, where they acted out an airport arrival, descending the steps of an airplane.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Again from 9:30 am, the Beatles filmed in a dressing room at the BBC's Dickenson Road premises in Manchester, frankly discussing their past and their aims and hopes for the future, considering that the present boom probably couldn't last much longer. They were also filmed applying theatrical make-up, as if they were about to go on stage for the previous day's "concert" shoot, and intently walking around backstage with their guitars, as if they were about to make a BBC television appearance.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, August 27, 1963

Location filming in Southport, Manchester and Liverpool

A six-night residency - two "houses" per night in Southport, just up the coast from Liverpool. The Beatles' repertoire comprised "Roll Over Beethoven", "Thank you Girl", "Chains", "A Taste of Honey", "She Loves You", "Baby, It's You", "From Me To You", " Boys", "I Saw Her Standing There", and "Twist and Shout".

From Tuesday to Friday, the Beatles filmed a number of contributions to a 30 minute sociological documentary being made by Manchester-based BBC TV producer Don Haworth, aiming to capture the essence and atmosphere of the "Mersey Beat" boom. After initial talks with Brian Epstein, Haworth had met the Beatles on July 21st and discussed the production, promising them the opportunity of being able to discuss themselves more seriously than in the somewhat flip fashion typical of the usual pop TV programs. After a meeting with the Beatles' contract, which also precluded them from appearing in "Beat City", a documentary on the subject being made at the same time by ITV company Associated-Rediffusion.

The Beatles first filming took place at 9:30 am today. Requiring live action footage of the group, Don Haworth booked time at the Little Theatre in Hoghton Street, Southport, where the group played on stage without an audience. The film was then intercut with hysterical audience footage shot the previous night at the Beatles' Odeon show. This morning the Beatles performed "Twist and Shout" and "She Loves You", dressed in grey collarless suits. Then, in black collarless suites and with a different curtain behind them, they played "Love Me Do", although the EMI disc recording was later dubbed onto the film, replacing the live music performance.